Reader Roger Guia sent us a letter asking how in the world skydivers balance family and financial responsibility with the ridiculously expensive sport of skydiving:
So here I am, sitting outside on a beautiful day reading the latest issue of Blue Skies Magazine. Reading about of what it seems to be the life of a lot of wonderful people that has become part of the skydive community around the world. It really inspires me a lot every time I read it. And every time I read a new article there is only one thing that comes to my mind:
How can everybody in this community afford to be a skydiver?
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And I’m not talking about the rich and privilege people that can buy a state-of-the-art rig. I’m talking about regular people like me. With regular jobs and family, (responsibilities).
Coincidentally, Melanie Curtis turned in her column the next month (issue #42) addressing this very question.
If you find yourself in this type of skydiving financial bind, go through the following questions to help clarify your unique situation. With clarity, we can consciously determine what action is best for us each to take, and ultimately feel good in our choice, no matter what it looks like.
- How much joy will I get from the jumps I want to pay for?
- How much stress will I experience shelling out the cash for those jumps?
- Will the joy I get from those jumps be greater than the stress from the financial output?
- If yes, go for it. Doing what we love brings good juju into our brain, body, and being. Feel the flow, use it to kick a** at work and make the money you need to keep jumping the way you want.
- If no, consider what possible opportunities you can create to improve your financial standing so you can fit the amount of jumping you really want into your life. Answer the following question and do your own brainstorming:
- What can you do right now to improve your financial standing so you can do the jumping you want to do? Work more shifts? Pack parachutes one day a weekend? Sell some stuff out of your closet? Work out a deal with the DZ to get discounted jumps in exchange for giving back, organizing, or whatever? Something else?
If you’re not sure what to do, consider this thought: “I am choosing my current financial approach.”
This might sound like BS, but think about it…no matter what is happening, we choose to spend our money the way we spend it based on what’s important to us. Maybe you’re keeping your family fed. Maybe you’re keeping your credit card balance low. Theoretically, we could rack up the charges, buy 20 jumps a weekend without a care in the world, we could file for bankruptcy in a few years, or whatever else…but we’re not doing that.
It’s easy to get caught up feeling stuck in our financial situation, but when we step back and really look at our actions, it’s easy to see that we’re choosing based on our own financial value system. And that’s GREAT. We’re choosing to be in the world with a certain level of financial responsibility, and can always go to sleep at night feeling good about that even if it means we’re not jumping as much as we’d ideally like to be…for now.
So how do you afford skydiving with a family, responsibilities, and all of life’s other demands?